Ohio 69, Bowling Green 59
CLEVELAND (AP)—Bubba Walther scored 19 points to help Ohio overcome some inconsistent play and reach the quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference tournament with a 69-59 win against Bowling Green on Wednesday.
Walther hit five 3-pointers to beat Bowling Green from the perimeter while Leon Williams attacked inside for 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Bobcats (19-12) advanced past the first round for the third straight year. They will face rival Miami of Ohio on Thursday for the fifth time in seven years.
Ohio fell behind early, then went on a 15-0 run in the first half to go up by seven.
The Bobcats, who beat Bowling Green twice during the regular season by 18 and 25 points, made some sloppy turnovers and couldn’t put Bowling Green away.
The Falcons (13-18) regained the lead 36-35 on a score by Nate Miller, who led the Falcons with 16 points.
Ohio took over after Williams scored six straight points and Walther hit a deep 3-pointer to fuel an 11-0 run for a 54-43 lead with 8:22 left.
The Falcons got within 65-59 with under a minute left on Ryne Hamblet’s drive to the rim but the Falcons failed to score on their last two possessions.
Whitney Davis scored 12 points and Jerome Tillman, a MAC first-team selection, added 11 points and 10 rebounds as four Bobcats scored in double figures.
Senior Martin Samarco, who entered leading the conference with a 19.6 scoring average, was just 6-for-20 for 15 points.